Masterton Intermediate School has released an instructional video of the Maori war dance that up to 5000 students and supporters are expected to stage in a world record bid later this year for the most people to perform a haka at the same time.
Principal Russell Thompson said the MIS haka titled Ko Wairarapa, written by parent Paora Ammunson, will be performed for the Guinness World Records bid at Memorial Park in Masterton from noon on September 8.
"We are hoping that as many people as possible, including all of our MIS students and staff, will meet at Memorial Park to perform Ko Wairarapa."
The school had set a target for the haka of 5000 people, which would easily eclipse the standing record of 4028, which was set at the Stade Amedee-Domenech in France on September 27, 2014, beating the previous record of 3264 set in New Zealand in 2008.
The 11-minute instructional video includes an outline from its composer of the history and meaning of the haka, and MIS students demonstrating two versions of the war dance for older and younger learners that includes a breakdown of each section.
The video has been viewed more than 700 times since its upload to You Tube about 10 days ago and may be viewed by searching for Ko Wairarapa Challenge at the video-sharing website. Mr Ammunson, speaking on the video, said he had worked in the late 1980s at the Masterton community polytechnic and Maori research students had requested an address in te reo Maori that could be used for powhiri, or ceremonies of welcome, and other events at the campus.
He said he talked with others about the request and wrote some words "about te karu o te ika - the eye of Maui's fish". He left the region for work soon afterward and returned some years later, he said.
"Much to my pleasant surprise various Maori studies teachers in the different schools had adapted those words, added actions to it, and it had become the haka Ko Wairarapa, in many ways the haka of the Wairarapa people. Tena Ko tou katoa."
To see the full instructional video, go to the YouTube clip here